Horsemen of Judgment Keep

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Pruis Mori Quam Fidem Fallare
Information
Founded: 1990
Status: Active
Heraldry
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Mullet

The Horsemen of Judgment Keep or "Horsemen" are a war band primarily located in the Kingdom of Caid.

Honor to Our Kingdom

History

AS XXV The Horsemen of Judgment Keep became a household in the Shire of Greifenthall within the then-principality of Drachenwald. Alexander Hostilius of Caid, Rook, Morgan, and Christian forge the bonds of blood.

AS XXVI A year after their creation, the Horsemen, now 9 in number (Alexander, Rook, Morgan, Christian, Alundren Flowinglocks, Adminius Dragoon, Yseult Na'sidhe, Malray, and Ren Shau) take to the war field in the famous Cookie War. The Horseman banner is seen for the first time on the battlefield and is watched by the Dred Father. Alexander wins the Greifenthall newbie tournament. Rook wins the Ronenberg Newbie Tournament. Adminius Dragoon is named Warlord of Greifenthall. Alexander is presented with the first Horseman society award when Prince Karl and Princess Leia award him with the Order of the Silver Guard. Later that year, Adminius Dragoon is elevated and becomes the first Obsidian Guard. Alexander becomes squire to Sir Axel of Travastia.

AS XVII Rook continues to maintain the Stronghold in Drachenwald. Morgan builds his Stronghold in Shire of Darach, within the Kingdom of Caid and Alexander now resides in Crimson River within the Kingdom of Meridies. Christian goes on crusade to the north but claims no stronghold. Horsemen are now literally spread to the four corners of the Knowne World. Prior to leaving Drachenwald, Alexander is offered Knighthood by King Elfinn, but declines as his Knight was not available to relieve him of his squire oath. This same year, Alexander is the first Horseman to enter a tournament. It was a memorable day for all Horsemen, as not only is he the first Horseman to enter a tourney but he does honor to himself and our household by winning the Black Cat Tournament.

AS XXVIII Alexander resides with his Stronghold in Crimson River, now numbering 28. Rook continues to maintain his Stronghold in Drachenwald with Adminius Dragoon and Alundren Flowinglocks. Morgan at his Darach Stronghold adds eight more members. Malcolm MacFarlane is appointed Warlord for Crimson River. The first Crimson Cross is awarded to Aldorox the Vile. Leif the Fearless, Saigo Tagato, and Abel Kingsman are elevated to Obsidian Guard.

AS XXIX Rook moves his Stronghold from Drachenwald to the Stronghold of Hells Gate in Ansteorra. Ren Shau is elevated to Obsidian Guard.

AS XXX Alexander moves his Stronghold to Shire of Gyldenholt in Caid and then quickly relocates to Vakkerfjell in the West Kingdom. Malcolm MacFarlane is elevated to Obsidian Guard. Leif the Fearless, Saigo Tagato, Ren Shau, and Abel Kingsman are all removed from the Obsidian Guard for failing to continue to meet the requirements demanded of the Obsidian Guard (attendance at a minimum of one War a year). Adminius Drgoon remains the only other Obsidian Guard. Davion Krommel assumes the role of Warlord in Crimson River. Christian returns from the crusade and now maintains a Stronghold in Teufelberg in the West Kingdom. The Dred Father, Daniel AEthelwulf, now takes residence with Alexander in the Vakkerfjell Stronghold.Morgan begins a crusade to the south and claims no stronghold.

AS XXXI After receiving a great insult from the Prince of Cynagua West who refused to give a Horseman an award because she could not kneel due to religious reasons, The Dred Father decreed that Horsemen shall only kneel when they are sworn in and to no other man. The Fighter Tunic is created.

AS XXXII Kenneth Vanguard, Eckard Egelulf and Galen MacMorgan are elevated to the Obsidian Guard.

AS XXXIV Malcolm MacFarlane is removed from the Obsidian Guard and put to death for breaking faith.

AS XXXV Galen MacMorgan wins the Newbie Knockabout in Teufelberg. The Horseman hit the 10 year mark. Rook moves his Stronghold to Twin Moon in Atendveldt.

AS XXXVI Morgan returns from Crusade and resides in the Stronghold of Twin Moons with Rook.

AS XXXVI The Dred Father passes. Long live the Dred Mother!

AS XXIX Ookami wins the Treasure Chest Newbie Tournament

AS XL Raynor wins the Knewbie Knockabout in Wintermist; Maximus wins Treasure Chest Newbie.

AS XLI Gaius wins the Knewbie Knockabout in Wintermist.

AS XLII Ulysses wins the Knewbie Knockabout in Wintermist.

AS XLIII Morgan is Knighted and becomes the first Horseman to receive the coveted White Belt. Gaius wins the Persian Pirate Tourney and becomes the first non stronghold to win a tourney other than as a "newbie." Vanvatig wins the Knewbie Knockabout in Wintermist. The "Great Purge" occurs and the Obsidian Guard is abolished by the command of Alexander due to the treason within its ranks. Eckard Egelulf, Sebastian von Teufelberg, and Donald MacMillan are stripped of their titles and removed from the ranks of Horsemen. Each brother will not be now be responsible for his own guard.

AS XLIV In an effort to redeem the name of the Obsidian Guard, Alexander names his personal guard "that which was once cursed" and challenges his own guard to overcome such adversity.

AS XLV 20 Year Anniversary of The Horsemen.

Membership Roster

AEthelwulf Family

Stronghold

Officers

Rank & File

Important Holidays

  • Agincourt - Oct 25
  • Dreadmother's Birthday - March 22
  • Night of the Dead - April 30
  • Twelfth Night - Varied

Horsemen FAQ Sheet

HORSEMEN MYTHS AND HISTORY As Told by Alexander Hostilius of Caid

When were the Horsemen created?

The Horsemen of Judgment Keep was created in A.S. 25 in Germany by 4 friends. Although each played in the SCA wearing our traditional black and red, as the 4 original members of the household were mostly military men they weren't actually able to all be in the same place until A.S. 27.

Where did the household name come from?

When I first started in the SCA I had a wonderful Knight (Sir Axel of Travastia)teaching me. He made every effort to make me into a Knight and part of his philosophy was that, in his opinion, Knights should be able to ride a horse, play chess, dance, build armor, read and write (do calligraphy, illumination and know basic heraldry) as well as fight. So, I learned them all. When I began working on creating a persona for the household I was told this by my beloved Knight, "Make sure you can document what you create. Make sure it was around during the time period." Only knowing the basics of SCA Heraldry and being a lazy 20 year old, I decided the most easily documented book for me would be the Bible. I was sure I could prove it existed and I knew it was around during my time period! I had actually done a college study on religion and the Bible so I knew exactly where I would draw my inspiration from for my new war band household....REVELATIONS! (I also had 3 friends with me making us a group of 4...it was obviously fate.) Thus, the Horsemen of Judgment were born. The Horsemen of Judgment was only actually in existence for one day because when I took my new found name to our local herald (who also did not have a lot of SCA knowledge) he told me that I wouldn't be able to register The Horsemen of Judgment (to this day I am still not 100% sure what his reasoning was). He then explained that if I added a "place" to it, I could register it that way. Since The Horsemen of Judgment Drachenwald didn't have a nice ring to it, The Horsemen of Judgment Keep was the name that stuck.

Why Red and Black?

Besides being my favorite colors, while touring some of the castles and churches in Europe I came across some amazing artwork from my time period. One that always stuck with me was a picture done of the battle of Agincourt. As I looked at the massive picture that had hundreds of soldiers fighting on it I noticed that one unit seemed to stick out. They were foot soldiers in black with red crosses on their chest. I thought it was pretty amazing that in this picture of hundred of colors and swirls the thing that stepped out of the picture to me was these men in red and black with big crosses on their chest.

Tell me about your uniforms?

Just about everything on a Horseman uniform has meaning. In our household you must earn your own colors and you must earn the right to wear the household colors. So when you first join and are what we call a "supplicant" you must wear a "blank" tunic or as well call them a blank Dalmatica. The only thing on the Dalmatica is the symbol of our household with the latin phrase, "Si inventum, quaeso, deferas ad" which literally means, "If lost please return to". After a supplicant is sworn into our household he becomes a full fledged Horsemen he is allowed to put on our badge, his own device and he is then allowed to wear his slave bands. Slave bands are the red stripes that come over the shoulders on our Dalmatica. The actual history of this comes from the Ancient Roman Army: soldiers were not allowed to wear bands over their shoulders until they had been in for five years. Although an award of honor, the Roman foot soldiers jokingly called these "Slave bands" because it usually showed someone who was going to be in the army for life. (Before I get letters from angry heralds, I have no documentation of this. It was told to me by a greek soldier when I was in the Army and I choose to believe it.) Also on our uniforms. On the left slave Band is Rank and Time in Service. Above that are Kingdom unit awards (our new crossed swords of Caid...WOOT!). On the right slave band are household awards.

Do you have awards?

The Horsemen have many household awards. Too many to list here. However, to keep with the uniform/combat theme I will list a few:

The Order of the Black Sword. Once the fighters of our household feel you have reached the level of "fighter" rather than "newbie" you are entered into the Order of the Black Sword and allowed to tape your sword in household colors.

The Order of the Iron Ring. Once a fighter wins a tournament he is allowed to build an iron ring and wear it around his neck. It is very important that the fighter build the ring himself and does not purchase it or have someone else make it. (if you are interested in the history of this, look up gladiators and iron rings).

Bloodied Cross of Honor. After your first time in combat or "shedding blood for your housedhold" you may "demand the right to wear" the Bloodied Cross of Honor. There is a ceremony for this award that will not be described here. (if you are interested in the history of this, look up blood rank in the military).

Does the household have a time period?

Originally I was told that SCA'ers must be from 600 to 1600. So my first love, the Roman era, was out. While discussing the matter around my family, my old (now deceased) Grandmother piped in with, "James, you are British. Your family is British and you will not shame your family by being anything but British. You must be English. Do not be one of those barbarians." So originally all the member of the Horsemen of Judgment Keep were from the Henry V / Agincourt time frame of 1415. As we began to grow and grow, we started having potential members ask us if they could be Scottish from the same time period and then German and then French. Then the time periods started to grow from 1415 to 1400's and then to the 1300's. Eventually it was decided that the Horsemen must transcend time and allow its members to be from any period they wished. So within our group we have Romans, Vikings, Rus, Russians, and English. All we ask is that if you plan to be from a time period, own it. So when we camp, Romans camp together, English camp together, etc. each flying its own banners. However, officially if we must put a date and time on our household it is done by the leader of our group. So despite all the Romans we have in Caid, currently our household is English as Lady K is 15th Century English.

Are you just a bunch of fighters?

The Horsemen first and foremost are a war unit. However, as I was first taught fighters must be more than just fighters. Each Horseman fighter must not only learn to fight but must also be able to ride a horse, play chess, dance, build armor, read and write (do calligraphy, illumination and know basic heraldry) as well as fight. Surprising to many, our household also has non-combatants. We have cooks, heralds, brewers, artists, woodworks and armor makers. All we ask of our non-combatants is if you plan to do some of the peace arts, do it well. Work at your art as we work at our fighting.

I have seen some weird things in a Horseman camp… what are some of your traditions?

At all overnight events, The Horsemen will have a 24 hour guard. This is done to make sure our camp is safe and to help late night wanderers. Horsemen fighters will stand for ladies when they enter our camp. (This is not done on war days as fighter must prepare for war… but goes into effect at sundown again). Horsemen fighters do not leave the war field unless given permission from the King (or his representative… or removed by serious injury). The highest request a Horseman can get (minus from those we serve) is that from a lady. Horsemen will always try to fulfill the request of a lady. Horsemen have a packing list which includes such things as a fire extinguisher, a bundle of wood to share, water to share, etc. Twice a year we have a grog bowl to pay for our sins and ask for forgiveness. (Ask a Horseman about the grog bowl)

What are some of your other traditions?

Sworn Horsemen are to be members of the SCA. Sworn Horsemen need to register their name and device. As a fighter you cannot be sworn in unless you have a complete set of armor most of which must be made by your hands. Horsemen fighters train a minimum of twice a week for 3 hours at a time. Traditionally they also train on a third day unless there is an event. However, each year Horsemen are REQUIRED to take time off during the off season to get a break from the SCA and prevent burn out. It is extremely bad form to have duct tape on your armor for more than one practice. Armor must be repaired. Shields never go face down...this is disrespectful to the colors on the front. You will not see a Horseman shield face down. It is considered a huge insult to place a Horseman shield face down. Keeping your helmet on after fighting an opponent is considered an insult. It shows that he didn't even make your breath hard enough to want to remove your helmet. Stepping onto the eric at a Horsemen Practice and banging your shield is considered a challenge. You are challenging the fighters to bring their best game and remove you from the field if they can.

You have some talented armorers, why is your armor not prettier!?!

If you go and look at Horsemen armor you will see that many of us have tooled leather and pretty snazzy metal work. However, this is muted on purpose and usually done black on black or metal on metal. Many of our fighters believe as I believe that only those of wealth and fame decorated their armor in history. Ordinary grunts of an army would be pretty presumptuous if they decorated their armor like a King or Knight without any renown or fame. In Caid we have neither. We are the foot soldiers of our King (and something we revel in!). The only Horsemen to obtain "fame" is Morgan Aethelwulf (knighted in Atenveldt) and he and his armor is gorgeous. This would hold true should one of our local Horsemen be lucky enough to win a crown or be knighted. Then we would be fighters of note and be able to put pretty shiny stuff on our armor. Right now, we will not detract from those who deserve to wear shiny pretty armor, we do not yet have that right.